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Transcript
Saguaro Astronomy Club
Sacnews
Volume 26 Issue 2
February 2002
Artist in Glass
SAC Officers
President: David Fredericksen
By Margie Vin-Williams & Paul Dickson
623-979-0513
[email protected]
maricopa.edu
Bob Goff, master optician, moved from
Tucson, Arizona to the Great Nebula in
Orion on December 23, 2001. His memorial pamphlet instructs us, “...Whenever
you glance in that direction, please send
him a wink.”
Vice President: Diane Hope
602-431-6959
[email protected]
Treasurer: Paul Dickson
[email protected]
Secretary: A. J. Crayon
Bob stated that the
child is the father of the
man: When Bob was a
young boy; he received
a concussion from a
fall at a roller skating
party. While recovering,
he read book on astronomy with the result
being a passion for astronomy and optics.
602-938-3277
[email protected]
Properties: Rich Walker
Public Events:
Adam Sunshine
623-780-1386
[email protected]
Deep Sky Group: A. J. Crayon
602-938-3277
[email protected]
SACNEWS Editor:
Rick Tejera, 623-572-0713
[email protected]
ATM Subgroup : Thad Robosson
602-527-0455
[email protected]
Inside this Issue
In MemoriumBob Goff
1
The Costa Rica
Eclipse
2
Astronomy 101Meade ETX 60-AT
3
Fuzzy Spot– Canis
Major
4-5
Deep Sky Wonders
Calendar of Events
Bits & Pieces;
December
6
7
9
President’s Message
Member Services
11
12
Bob Goff was described by his friends as
a Teddy Bear and a man of such size that
he was the one to be called when pianos
had to be moved. Father George Coyne,
Director of the Vatican Observatory, stated
Bob was a multifaceted man except in his
wardrobe, which remained
a
T-shirt,
shorts and Birkenstocks.
At the memorial service on January 11th,
the outpouring of persons, from both the
astronomical
and
medical world (Bob
had been on the list
for a heart transplant)
caused the University
Medical School Duval
Auditorium to be filled
beyond its 350-person
capacity.
In 1983 Bob moved
from California to Kitt
Peak where he, as a
master technician, was
one of the few who
lived there full time,
providing maintenance
Marilyn Unruh from the
for the 40 telescopes.
Prescott
Astronomy
Dean Ketelsen of the
Club
and
Paul
Dickson
In Memorium
Steward Mirror Lab
and Margie Williams
Robert Fulton Goff
and David Levy, known
from the Saguaro AsDecember 23, 2001
for his comet discovertronomy
Club
aties, knew Bob from
tended the memorial
these first early days in Arizona. In 1985
and enjoyed a wonderful reception with
Bob married Valerie and they formed their
Derald and Denise Nye and Chuck Schroll
optical business where Bob consistently
from the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Aspolished glass with margins within a few
sociation. There were two scopes set on
nanometers (one billionth of a meter) and
the sun, which displayed eruptions in
in diameters from a few centimeters to 88
great French curves on the rim. As someinches.
one said, it was a nice day, a “Bob kind of
day.”
PAGE 2
SACNEWS
VOLUME 26 ISSUE 2
Costa Rica Eclipse 2001
By Glenn Nishimoto
Thanks to AJ Crayon and his announcement that
Skycamping of Oregon needed extra people in
their group to make the trip, I decided to give them
a call. When one plans an eclipse jaunt, the waiting
gets unbearable and perhaps one packs and unpacks several times to travel light yet plan for every
possible contingency. I have learned to always
bring a roll of duct tape.
Well, trip time had arrived and I left Sky Harbor for
the daylong trip to Costa Rica on December 12.
While on a layover at DFW for the final leg, I met 3
other members of the group and we all assessed
each other out and compared notes about our previous eclipse experiences.
stop as well as a church visit (the oldest in CR). We
all treated ourselves to a taco lunch-a plate that always includes rice and beans. Delicioso and
cheap. Nicoya seems like a nice place to hang outespecially for the backpacker set as I caught a
glimpse of many hostel-guesthouse type accommodations. We even managed to stop by a rustic
native pottery studio of sorts where the old methods are still being utilized. Their kilns reminded me
of the hornos of New Mexico.
We finally arrived at our hotel, the Hotel Iguana
Azul by near sunset. Gabriella, the tour coordinator
had everyone rush out to the hillside overlooking
the ocean, so we could view the cielejas-colors of
the sunset, with drinks in hand. The Iguana Azul is
Arrival in San Jose was a late evening event and
a moderate style hotel with ceiling fans on a hillthanks to Margaret and Gabriella who coordinated
side overlooking the Pacific. Construction looms in
our trip in CR, we were met
the area and in a short
at arrivals and delivered to We were able to see the annular while, the hotel will be surour hotel in downtown San ring through a few cloud wisps with rounded by very expensive
Jose, by Carlos our bus a palm tree foreground overhang condominium and timedriver. We stayed at the Hoshares. After dinner, we atfor
about
a
minute..
tel don Fadrique, a modestly
tempted to do some obpriced elegant villa style hoserving as it is dark in the
tel with the neatest artwork
area but local weather
in its hallways and lobby. Everyone seemed exmade viewing fair at best. The Geminids did make
hausted after checking in, that an early bedtime
a show but activity came to a standstill around
was in order-but not before a light walk and a
2230 hrs local time. It was a treat for the Oregosnack. The best option for that time of the night
nians to see a bit lower south than what they are
was a Subway and none of the “food service help”
used to seeing. Be glad you live in the Land of AZ.
could speak English so with high school Spanish
in hand, I managed to get a sandwich and soft
Eclipse day-I think everyone slept well the night
drink. Those airline meals just don’t do it.
before and in the AM the skies were indeed promising. Of course, my first thoughts were food reThe next day was an early departure for our desti- lated and I took into the local fresh fruit and breaknation to the Guanacaste region in the northwest.
fast. We had the day at our leisure and some of us
We were met by our “nature guide” Luis, who was
just did early preparation for the eclipse. The pool
extremely knowledgeable about the local flora and
on the hotel grounds was a nice respite from the
fauna as well as the history of the region.
heat and humidity but I welcomed it, as it was a bit
chilly and dry when I left Arizona. By early afterWe did make stops to stretch and refresh along
noon, the skies did not look promising at all and
the way and even made a ferry crossing just before
clumps of cumulus kept intimidating us while we
Nicoya, though there is a bridge being constructed
lounged on our poolside chairs. No(Continued
one seemed
on pageto
8)
to make road travel faster. Nicoya was a late lunch
VOLUME 26 ISSUE 2
SACNEWS
PAGE 3
Astronomy 101
The ETX 60AT & The Urban List
By Rick Tejera
Back in September, Costco seemed to come into a
load of the little Meade ETX 60AT telescopes and
sold them for $100.00, which is about 1/3 the price
they were selling for in other outlets. Seems shortly
afterward Meade’s ETX advertising no longer had
the 60mm in its inventory. Given that for a few dollars more you could get the 70mm version, my
guess is the 60’s didn’t sell very well and Meade
unloaded them on Costco. At any rate, I know
more than a few of us picked one up. Mine came to
me as an early
Christmas
present. I plan to use
it as a “Portable”
scope when traveling and for
backyard observing. Given this I’ll
probably
also
bring it out to star
parties for the
heck of it. I like to
play
“compare
the view”.
The telescope is controlled by a scaled down version of the same Meade Autostar that controls the
larger ETX models. By scaled down I mean the database is noticeably smaller although it still has objects way to faint to be seen in this telescope, i.e.
the Horsehead. The keypad is also smaller eliminating the number keys. Numeric inputs are made
by scrolling the numbers using the arrow keys.
Other than those differences, the software that controls the scope itself is unchanged from the larger
models.
The scope does
not come with a
tripod. The ETX
tripod
from
Meade or JMI
and other retailers would cost
at least twice as
much as the
scope! Rather
than yield to
temptation
I
fashioned
an
How does this
adapter to my
60mm scope set
camera tripod
itself apart from
out of plywood.
the typical 60mm
I’ve noticed ads
department store
in the astroscope? Read on. The Meade ETX60-AT. Notice the plywood tripod adapter I
mags for a
The telescope is made under the base. Quick and simple. The Autostar control- similar device
a short focus ler is attached to the base with velcro.
going for about
achromatic
re$30.00.
Your
fractor of 350mm
choice. To minifocal length. This
mize vibration
gives an f ratio of 5.8, which is about the same as
on the less sturdy tripod, I hang my famous
Gert (my 8” dob). Given the short focal length, this
“Bottle-O-Rocks” from the tripod. This suffices for
telescope has RFT written all over it. The supplied
my purposes.
modified MA eyepieces of 25mm and 9mm focal
lengths give 14x and 39x respectively. The correOK, that the nuts and bolt of the scope, but how
sponding FOV’s (Assuming a 40deg apparent fov
well does it work? Read on. The key to success
of the eyepiece) yields 2 d 51’ for the low power
with any GOTO scope is the alignment, and
eyepiece and 1 degree for the high power eyeAutostar is no different. Input from(Continued
Marshall
onDailey,
page 10)
piece.
PAGE 4
SACNEWS
VOLUME 26 ISSUE 2
Fuzzy Spot, Canis Major
By Ken Reeves
Canis Major is a prominent winter constellation sitting on the Milky Way. As such, it contains
many open clusters, typical of the winter Milky
Way, and a few nebulae. It also contains the
brightest star in the sky other than the sun, Sirius,
which is unmistakable. Sirius has as its
companion a white dwarf, Sirius B. I have tried numerous times to try to split this double, but
have been unsuccessful to this point.
Canis Major is the hunting companion of
Orion. With a little imagination, you can make out
the stick figure of this dog in the sky. As an interesting note, the phrase "dog days of summer"
came about when ancient people thought that the
sun paired in the sky with the Dog Star, Sirius
caused the extra heat.
NGC 2204 (06 15.7 -18 39): This open cluster, although one of the Herschel 400
objects, was not at all obvious in the 10"
scope. About 10-11 stars over some haze was
seen with the star pattern around cluster forming a
cross shape.
NGC 2207 (06 16.5 -21 22): There are actually several decent galaxies visible in Canis
Major. For example, this one was seen in the 20"
scope as pretty bright, pretty large, an d
elongated NW/SE. The glow is fairly even with a
slight brightening towards the middle. There is
something weird going on in the middle, either 2
nuclei, or a nucleus with a star slightly to the
west. On the SE end of the galaxy, there is a
brighter spot, which is actually a small interacting
galaxy.
NGC 2287 (06 47.0 -20 44): M-41 is one of the two
star objects in Canis Major (in my
opinion). At 70X in the 10" scope, it is fairly large,
very bright, somewhat rich, and somewhat
loose. There are 4 levels of stars with about 125
stars counted. Many of the stars are grouped
in real nice strings and arcs. This cluster is visible
as a hazy spot naked eye, and somewhat
resolved in the finder scope or binoculars. Just because this is a big bright cluster, don't pass it
over with a large scope. In the 20" scope at 60X, it
fills the whole field of view. I counted about
200 stars in this scope, and noted 2 or 3 bright
stars that are on the yellow side.
NGC 2345 (07 08.3 -13 10): I like this open cluster,
if for no other reason, because it has
an NGC number that I can remember. Besides
that, I saw it as somewhat big, pretty bright, and
elongated N/S. There are 3 levels of stars with 25
stars counted. At the N end is a tight group of
stars, using averted vision really brings it out. On
the S end is a real nice double star.
NGC 2359 (07 17.8 -13 13): This is one of the
nebulae in Canis Major. At 50x with UHC
filter, it is somewhat bright and pretty large. The
brightest part is around a grouping of 6 stars. The
nebulosity fades away to the S where it abruptly
ends at a star, but turns WSW there. To
the N is some fainter nebulosity, but not very well
defined. This is a very nice nebula well
deserving of a Best of the NGC entry.
NGC 2360 (07 17.8 -15 37): This open cluster is
somewhat large, pretty bright, very rich,
and somewhat condensed. There is 1 prominent
bright star and 4 levels of stars with about 90
stars counted in the 10" scope. Many of the stars
form straight-line groupings. The overall
shape is sort of maple leaf pointing to the E. To
WNW is a very prominent star just out of the
field of view.
NGC 2362 (07 18.8 -24 57): This last object is the
other star attraction in Canis Major. It
is one of the first non-messier objects I ever observed. With it centered on τ Canis Major, it is
very easy to find. In the 10" scope, it is a very
bright triangular shaped clu ster, with about 30
stars counted. There is somewhat of a void immediately around τ. An interesting optical
illusion can be seen on this cluster. Tap the scope
slightly, and τ seems to wiggle in a
direction opposite of the other cluster stars. While
you are here, go about 2 degrees to the N (at
07 17 -23 19) and you will find a very nice bright
double star. They are equal in magnitude, with
a very strong contrasting yellow and bluish color.
Fuzzy Spot
Canis Major
6h
θ
2299
2302
Bochum 3
W
E
-15°
6h30m
Mon
7h
VAR MON 02
N
-10
2311
-5°
IC 2165
2309
S
M 50
-15°
-10°
-
6h30m
7h
6h
θ
2335
Cr 465
2343
Cr 466
2353
2179
µ
2368
α
-15°
2345
-10°
ν3 ν
7h
30m
1
2396
ν2
2196
2207
-20°
2283
γ
Haffner 8 Haffner 6
Basel 11A
2204
β
6h30m
ι
2227
2223
2374
M 41
2360
Mel 71
-20°
7h 1
Tombaugh
-15°
2423
M
2478
47
π
ξ1
ξ2
-25°
CMa
6h30m
7h30mHaffner
Czernik10
29
2271
2217
2263
2414
Bochum
Bochum45
2438
M 46
ο1
ο2
-20°
Bochum
6
7h30m
2383
2384
Cr 121
-25°
-30
2272
2292
2293
7h
6h30m
2280
2367
2440
2432
2421
τ
2479
δ
2354
2362
Tr 7Tr 6
Ru 34
ω
-25°
-20°
2509
7h30m
2455
Ru 468h
2482
-25°
8h
STARS
<3
>8
4
5
6
7
ε
-30°
2267
7h
IC 456
Ru 18
κ
2382
2380
M 93
ξ
σ
2325
PK 242-11.1
ο
-30°
Haffner 16
Ru 36
Haffner 18
Haffner 19
Tr 9 2467
Multiple star
Variable star
Comet
Galaxy
Bright nebula
η
Ru 20
Ru 32
-35°
Cr 132
7h30m
2298
7h
2453
SYMBOLS
Dark nebula
Globular cluster
Open cluster
Planetary nebula
Quasar
Radio source
X-ray source
Other object
Herschel 400 Objects: 2204, 2354, 2360,
2362
SAC's 110 Best of the NGC Object: 2359
PAGE 6
SACNEWS
VOLUME 26 ISSUE 2
Walter Scott Houston’s “Deep Sky Wonders”
A book review
by Thad Robosson
Ever since reading the review of this book on
Sky and Telescope some months ago, it’s
been on my list of things to get. By chance , I
won my copy in the NASP raffle this past September 15th, and now I wish I had bought it
much sooner. Veteran observers were lucky to
have this gentleman’s column in S&T every
month, and now the newer astronomers have
a chance to appreciate him as well. A pair of
testimonials written by Brian Skiff and Dennis
di Cicco make it obvious that Mr. Houston
loved the sky and observing it. After thumbing
through this book, I was convinced that newer
astronomers had definitely missed out on
something.
The book is divided up into the 12 months,
and selections from nearly 50 years of columns were carefully pasted together by
Stephen James O’Meara to create each
“chapter”. Each chapter discusses a variety of
objects, whether it be an observation from
himself or one of his readers who had responded to one of this many challenges (such
as our own Mr. Coe.). And challenge he does,
as a considerable number of observations involved small aperture ‘scopes, binos, or even
naked eye observations. But the large aperture
crowd needn’t worry, there are plenty of observations with the big ones as well. Even
equipment and techniques get brought into
the mix, including the quite usable UHC filter.
There is a good mix of all types of deep sky
objects, from the obvious (M13, Omega Cent.,
etc.) to the more obscure (like “non-existant”
NGC 7772, UGC’s, Etc.), but whatever your liking, you’re sure to find something that appeals
to you. At the end of each chapter there is a
list of objects, their coordinates, types, and the
Sky Atlas, Uranometria, and Millennium Sky
Atlas page numbers. But by far, the best part
of the book for me is Mr. Houston’s writing.
Even with the “cut and paste” necessary to
create this book, I found that his observations
and challenges moved me. His stories of persistence and overcoming what was thought to
be “unreachable” have given me some pretty
lofty observing goals, fueled by desire to see
the things he’s written about, and driven by
the need to push back the limits. That very
next night, I sat down in the backyard with my
10x50’s, Sky Atlas chart #16, and my red
flashlight, and proceeded to chase ‘em down.
It was almost as if he had taken a chair next to
me and kept daring me to look deeper. I was
pleasantly surprised by how much I really
could see, and now I’m hooked.... I’m sure
that this was the effect that he was after.
This book is available from S&T online for
$29.95.
Upcoming Speakers
Feb 22nd - Dr. Sally Oey (assistant astronomer at
the Lowell Observatory) will be speaking on 'Latest
Research on Galaxy Formation". Sally studies
feedback effects of massive stars on their galactic
and intergalactic environment, including stellar
winds and supernovae, which create superbubbles
and hot, X-ray emitting gas.
Mar 29th - "SOFIA - Airborne Astronomy, The Next
Generation": Dr. Ted Dunham (instrument scientist
at the Lowell Observatory) will speak about 'Plans
for SOFIA' - the Stratospheric Observatory for
Infrared Astronomy). Ted is currently working on
an instrument for observing occultations with
SOFIA and is active n
i searching for extra-solar
planets using transit photometry.
SACNEWS
VOLUME 26 ISSUE 2
PAGE 7
February 2002
SUN
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
1
SAT
2 SAC Star
Party
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19 School Ob- 20
21
22 SAC
23
serving Session
24
25
26
Meeting
27
28 Deep Sky
Group
Schedule of Events for February 2002
Feb. 2nd
Feb 4th
Feb. 5th
Feb. 7th
Feb. 12th
Feb. 16th
Feb. 19th
Feb 20th
Feb. 22nd
SAC Star party at Flat Iron mountain Site. Sunset 1803, Ast. Twilight Ends 1929,
Moonrise 2346
Moon at 3rd Quarter at 1333 mst
Apollo 14 lands in Fra Mauro, the intended landing site of the ill-fated Apollo 13.
Birth of Sir William Huggins, Pioneer in Spetstroscopy. Knighted in 1897, served
as President of the Royal Astronomical Society. He Died in 1910.
Moon is New at 0741mst.
Ceres in Conjuntion with the Sun at 1351 mst.
School Observing Session at Desert Mountain School, 7th Ave and Carefree
Hgwy. See Article on page 9.
Moon at 1st Quarter 1202mst, Occults Saturn, Saturn disappears behind the dark
limb at 1617mst and reappears at 1717mst
SAC General Meeting at Grand Canyon University; 1930, Dr. Sally Oey. See Details on Page 6
Feb. 27th
Moon is Full at 0125mst.
Feb. 28th
Deep Sky Sub Group Meeting at the McGrath’s House, See page 12 for directions
Future Planning
March 8th-9th Sentinel-Schwaar Star Gaze
April 13th-14th All Arizona Messier Marathon
May 24th-26th Riverside Telescope Makers Conference, go to http://www.rtmc-inc.org/ for more
information
PAGE 8
SACNEWS
(Continued from page 2)
know the exact time of eclipse maximum. I had
heard 1607 hr local time so by 1400 hr, we were all
set up to view and photograph. There was a Televue 85, a B & L 4in. SCT, an Orion short tube refractor, assorted binoculars and I had brought my
Questar. At least everyone had mylar or some solar filter to go around. I glued Baader film to a PVC
flange, which loosely fit the Questar.
We all were excited as the moon kept taking larger
bites but there were clouds coming in from the
East. We were told that this was highly unusual for
that time of year (hear that one before?) but we all
kept our fingers crossed. I had already resigned
myself to not seeing annular maximum. It looked
bad! Some of us made sacrifices by jumping in the
pool and perhaps the gods would be appeased.
There were occasional breaks in the clouds but
hey, que sera sera. You know, 1607 hr came and
went; some of us hid our disappointment but we
still kept looking west as the sun was close to the
horizon. At approximately 1630 hr, Scott, the activities director of the Iguana Azul yelled out that there
was a clearing in the clouds and lo and behold,
there it was – we had not estimated the time correctly. We were able to see the annular ring
through a few cloud wisps with a palm tree fore-
VOLUME 26 ISSUE 2
ground overhang for about a minute though I have
no idea how long the duration was. Elation reigned
and we all cheered. The chef of the hotel even prepared a special meal for the event to include ceviche.
That night in the wee hours of the morning, a few
Oregon die-hards got up at 0330 hr to view the
Southern skies. I think they were excited by their
comments at breakfast. We had half a day to enjoy
some local bird watching so Luis gave us a quick
bird tour of the area around our hotel. We did see
a split tail flycatcher, Baltimore oriole, caracara, a
trogon, yellow kiskidees, and numerous others
whose names escapes me - a bird-lister I’m not.
Departure from Guanacaste was by a CR airline
with one engine. No, I did not get to see Arenal
from the air but had seen that volcano on a previous trip. The group unanimously agreed to a shopping stop prior to being dropped off at our hotel
and we all got to experience a Costa Rican version
of Wal-Mart – Hypermall.
I have to admit that prior to the trip, I thought four
days was a bit short, but the ease of the group and
the itinerary was ideal for a short eclipse trip to the
land of the cielejas- Costa Rica. (A scrapbook of
the trip may be viewed at www.skycamping.com)
Annular Solar Eclipse,
December 14th 2001 from Costa Rica. Photo
Courtesy of Glenn Nishomoto
VOLUME 26 ISSUE 2
SACNEWS
PAGE 9
Bits & Pieces
Minutes of the December Holiday Party/Meeting
By A. J. Crayon-SAC Secretary
The December potluck holiday party was held
at Pat and AJ Crayon's house, attended by approximately 30 people, including family members and children.
One highlight of the evening was filling of two
of the three remaining vacant offices for the
coming year. The offices are President - David
Fredericksen and Properties Directory Rich
Walker. The outgoing President Jack Jones
announced that the remaining office to be
filled, treasurer, would have a name announced at the January 2002 meeting.
The other highlight of the evening - in addition
to food and talk, was a plethora of prizes. Included were a number of telescope parts and
accessories, 2002 Astronomy calendars, a
Bushnell refractor and some software.
After this there was quite a bit of trading, making it like a mini swap meet. Amongst items
exchanged was The Sky, from Steve Coe to
Stan Goredinski and the Bushnell refractor
from Jennifer Keller to the Pieser kids.
The major software was Starry Night Pro, donated by Dean Koenig of Starizona in Tucson.
Visit their web site at http://www.
starizona.com/ or drop him a note at
[email protected] Our newsletter editor,
Rick Tejera, got this gem! All agreed that it
would have a fine home with Rick, congratulations.
School Observing Session
I recently received a request to hold a School
observing session at the Desert Mountain
School in Desert Hills. The Seesion is in conjunction with the schools Curriculum Night and
is hosted by 7th grade science teacher Milissa
Holder. The Date is Tues Feb 19th., from 6:00
to 9:00. Set up is at 5:00. We can use the daylight to show off out telescopes and explain
how they work before it gets dark.
placed for viewing this night, Among them
Jupiter, Saturn, M31 & the Double Cluster. The
Moon is just about at first quarter, so some lunar observing is in order as well.
There will be plenty of showcase objects well
I’ll be posting more details as the date nears.
Desert Mountain School is located at 7th Ave.
& Carefree highway. It’s about a 30 minute
ride from the 101 & I-17. Please plan on helping out if at all possible.
PAGE 10
SACNEWS
(Continued from page 3)
who uses a ETX 125 and some experience show
that the key to getting a good alignment can be
stated in one word: LEVEL. First thing I do now is
level the base of the scope. Next I sight Polaris and
lock the scope in azimuth. Final step is to level the
OTA. Once this is done the scope is ready to begin
the alignment procedure. The scope will ask you
for the date and time, time zone and is daylight
savings time in effect. Enter all the parameters and
you’re ready to align the scope. Once again the
more accurate your information about the time, the
more accurate your alignment will be. There are
three alignment options: Easy, One Star and Two
Star. The only difference between easy and two
star alignment is the easy alignment picks the
alignment stars for you. Since my backyard has
two tall trees on the southern side and a house on
the north side, I usually opt for the two star alignment, so the telescope doesn’t pick stars hidden
by obstructions. The scope will ask you to put it in
the “home position”. You’ve already done this if
you’ve leveled it as I detailed earlier. This is where
the accuracy will show itself. If you’ve carefully leveled and pointed the scope north, odds are your
alignment stars will be in the field of view. Center
the each star and enter and your alignment is
done. The more you have to slew the scope the
less accurate the alignment will be.
Once aligned, Autostar works just as advertised.
Select an object and hit GOTO and the scope puts
it in the field each time. On the odd occasion it
misses, there is a search feature that will slew the
scope in ever increasing sized square patterns that
should find the object quickly. The one time I used
this feature, the scope found the object on the second square. If an object isn’t centered, you can
manually center it and then “Synch” the scope to
make the small correction. The scope works just
as well on dynamic objects (the planets), Once
again the accuracy here is determined by the accuracy of your time input. Tracking is smooth, albeit noisy. The scope has the familiar ETX hum
and grind sound to it.
OK, Autostar works fine, but how about the views?
Read on. I’ve had the scope out under dark skies
once, the remainder of the time I’ve had it out in
the backyard. Under dark skies the view was su r-
VOLUME 26 ISSUE 2
prisingly nice. The wide field of view makes this
scope a candidate for large open clusters. At Flat
Iron, I easily counted 40 stars in two levels in the
Pleiades. The wide field enabled me to view the
entire dipper asterism without having to move the
scope. At home with the Moon 80% lit, the double
cluster was an easy score. Although not as spectacular as it would be from a dark sky, both clusters easily gave up enough detail to satisfy me
considering the sky conditions. I tried Open Cluster TR2 in Perseus a loose grouping of about 10
stars surrounded by a square of fairly bright stars.
The Orion Nebula showed plenty of detail, although the trapezium wasn’t split. It appeared as a
slightly elongated star. M31 showed a bright core
and a hint of mottling beyond the core. γ And was
split only during moments of steady seeing, although it was suspected all the time. As you’d expect view of the planets are tinged with a slightly
blue edge due to the scope’s achromatic design.
While observing the moon I didn’t find it all to obtrusive, although I wouldn’t want to speak for everyone on this. The planets were nice, although
small even at 39x. I could barley separate Saturn’s
rings from its disk. Given this I’d say a Barlow and
a high power eyepiece are a must for satisfying
planetary observing.
OK you like the views. Is there anything you didn’t
like? Read on. Aside from the aforementioned
need for a good Barlow and higher power ey epieces, my main peeve with the scope is the lack
of parfocality on the eyepieces. Switching ey epieces means running the scope through what
seem like most of its focuser travel. The reason for
this is the low power eyepiece’s barrel is too long
to sit in the drawtube without hitting the diagonal
mirror. I’ve found inserting the high power ey epiece in just far enough to grab the setscrew will
alleviate some of the focuser travel required to
reach focus. I don’t like the idea of my eyepiece
sitting on the diagonal, and will probably ask Thad
to turn down the barrel a bit for a more
“comfortable” fit. I’ll lose the filter threads, but Cest
la Vie. I figure if that’s all I can complain about, for
$100.00 I’m ahead of the game.
Final Conclusion? The ETXAT for $100.00 makes a
fine second scope. My wife doesn’t know it yet, but
it is now the designated traveling scope. It’s given
VOLUME 26 ISSUE 2
SACNEWS
PAGE 11
President’s Message
By David Fredericksen
For those of you that don’t know me my name
is David Fredericksen and a funny thing happened to me at the SAC Christmas Party. I became President of the Saguaro Astronomy
Club. Actually I told A.J. Crayon that I would
accept the nomination to be the President. I
have been a member of the club for 21
years and the only office that I have ever
held was that of Secretary for a 2-year
stint. I started thinking after the November meeting that I needed to be more
involved in the club, so here I am. We
should all give of ourselves to SAC.
If it is a matter of being concerned
that you don’t know what to do, ask
someone. I know that if I have any
questions about how I need to do
something, I can ask Jack Jones or
any of a number of other people. That
is the strength of our club: we are all willing to
help each other when the need arises. I am
asking our membership to step up and accept
a nomination for an office when a vacancy
comes up, even if it is only for 1 year. Everyone will appreciate it and you will actually have
fun doing the job. Get involved, its not just a
job, its an adventure. Oops, sorry! Wrong job.
One of the things that I would like to see during my tenure is for us to get to know more of
the membership than we already know. I know
many of the people in the club, but there are
members that I see every meeting and I don’t
know them, which is my own fault. That is a
big goal for myself and I hope it will be your
goal too.
I have the good fortune to be able to teach
Astronomy for a living. Oh boy, I get to
teach my hobby and get paid to do it! I
teach at Glendale Community College. I have a 12.5 inch Dobsonian
and a C-5 that I picked up at Christmas. I am married and have 2 boys
aged 13 and 11. I enjoy looking at
the planets and Moon, but I prefer
looking at the faint fuzzies that are
out there.
I welcome all comments and suggestions and
I look forward to serving SAC in the upcoming
year.
Clear Skies,
David Fredericksen, SAC President
Such A Deal
For Sale: Coulter 14-1/4" F/7 mirror, Novak 9pt mirror cell, 2.25" ma diagonal and cylindrical spider. $600 Contact Paul Maxson at [email protected] or 623-975-9232.
For Sale: Meade LX5 10" SCT with Lumicon Sky Vector II, three eyepieces, plus extra accessories, $1195, complete details and photos via e-mail, Pete in Wickenburg AZ [email protected] or
928-684-3635.
For Sale: Meade ETX-125EC 125mm Maksutov-Cassegrain Telescope with tripod and #457
Autostar Computer Controller. More detailed specs can be found on the Meade home website.
$800. Please contact Oscar at (480)821-8428 or [email protected]
SACNEWS
PAGE 12
VOLUME 26 ISSUE 2
SAC Meeting and Observing Sites
General Meetings
Flatiron Star Parties
7:30 p.m. at Grand Canyon University, Fleming Building,
Room 105: 1 mile west of I-17 on Camelback Rd., North on
33rd Ave., Second building on the right.
23
Head west on -I 10 to the 339th Ave exit (exit 103).
Turn North (right) and go two miles to Indian School
Rd. Turn West (left) on Indian School and go 1 mile
to 355th Ave. Turn North (right). This will turn into
Wickenburg Rd. Follow this road for about 12 miles.
Just after mile marker 23.3 you will go through Jackrabbit wash and pass a cattle guard sign. There is a
dirt road just after the sign, marked by white painted
rocks. Turn on to this road and follow it about .9
miles. Just after you pass through a wash, you’ll see
the field on your left. If you hit the cattle guard, or the
dirt road your on is next to a fence, you’ve missed the
correct road. Go back and look for the white rocks.
(see detail map above).
Arizona City-Messier Marathon
Take 1-10 to exit 200 (Sunland Gin
Road). From here it is about 29 miles
to the site. Turn right (south) after exiting the freeway. After about 15 miles,
the pavement ends and about one mile
further, the road turns sharply to the
west. After another f our miles, the
main road will turn south just after the
"Silverbell Estates" signs. Three miles
past the signs, the road will veer of f to
the west, and five miles further, the
road will pass through a gate. Turn left
immediately after the gate and continue f or another 2/3 of a mile, driving
over a fence. The site is to the right.
SACNEWS
VOLUME 26 ISSUE 2
PAGE 13
SAC Membership Services
Membership
Memberships are for the following calendar year and are pro-rated for new members as follows:
Jan.-Mar. 100%, Apr.-Jun. 75%; Jul.-Sep. 50%, Oct.- Dec, 25%
$ 28.00
$ 42.00
$100.00
$ 14.00
$ 6.00
Individual Membership
Family Membership (one newsletter)
Business Membership (includes advertising)
Newsletter only
Nametag for Members
Subscription Services
The following magazines are available to members. Subscribe or renew by paying the club treasurer. You will
receive the discounted club rate only by allowing the club treasurer to renew your subscription.
$ 30.00/yr
Sky & Telescope
$ 29.00/yr
Astronomy
Please Print
Name:_______________________________
Address:_____________________________
______________________________________
Make Checks Payable to SAC
Mail Completed form to:
Peggy Kain
SAC Treasurer
P.O Box 30424
Phoenix AZ 85046-0424
Phone;________________________________
E-mail (newsletter will be sent to this address):__________________________________________
(Continued from page 10)
me the impetus to get out in the backyard and start
work on the Urban List. With my homemade
Baader Solar filter, it will also work fine as a solar
scope. Best of all was starting to observe with my
daughter. With the tripod mounted low enough,
she was able to observe a lot easier than me trying
to hold her up to Gert’s eyepiece.
For the money I’d say it’s a good value. For what
Meade was asking for it, I’d have to say you’d do
better for your $270.00
The gap caused by the barrel of the eyepiece,
causing a large focus differential between
eyepieces can just be seen in this picture.
S A G U A R O A S T R O N O M Y C LUB
February 2001
5643 W. Pontiac Dr
Glendale, AZ 85308-9117
Phone: 623-572-0713
Fax: 623-572 -8575
Email: [email protected]
DUES ARE DUE
Videmus Stellae
As you know all memberships expire at the end of the year. If
you haven’t already done so, now is the time to renew your
membership. You will receive two more issues of SACnews
unless you renew, so send in you remittance now. Use the
handy renewal form on page 13 of this newsletter.
www. saguaroastro.org
SAC Schedule of Events 2002
SAC
SACMeetings
Meetings
Jan.
January
25th,12,
2002
2001
Feb.
Feb 22nd
9, 2001
2002
Mar.
March
29th
9, 2002
2001
July
July26th
6, 2001
2002
Aug.
August
23rd3,2002
2001
Sep.
September
20th 2002
28, 2001
Apr.
April26th
6, 2001
2002
May
May24th
4, 2001
2002
June
Jun 8,
21st
2001
2002
Oct.
October
18th 2002
26, 2001
Nov.
November
15th 2002
30, 2001
Dec.
December
20th 2002
:TBA
(Holiday
(HolidayParty)
Party)
Deep
DeepSky
SkyGroup
GroupMeetings
Meetings
Feb.
February
28th 2002
15, 2001 Aug.
August
29th
9,2002
2001
May
April2nd,
12, 2001
2002
June
June27th,
14, 2001
2002
Oct.
November
24th 2002
1, 2001
Dec. 26th 2002
SAC Star Parties
Date
Sunset
Astronomical
Moonrise
Twilight
Ends
Date Sunset Astronomical Moonrise
Jan 5th
1737 Twilight Ends
1906
0049
1/202nd 17511803
Feb
2/17 2nd 18181829
Mar
3/17 6th 18411856
Apr
4/14 4th 19021917
May
5/19 1st 19281937
June
6/16
19441945
July 6th
7/14
1943
Aug 3rd
1930
8/11
1922
Aug 31st
1858
9/15
1837
Sep 28th
1820
10/13
1800
Oct 26th
1745
11/10
1731
Nov 30th
1723
12/8
1723
Dec 28th
1731
1918 1929
1941 1951
20042021
20292050
2106 2118
2127 2127
2123
2104
2053
2024
2001
1942
1933
1909
1857
1851
1852
1900
0525
0431
0258
0139
0410
0239
0109
2341
0513
0401
0254
0151
2346
2238
0355
0230
0102
0258
0132
0009
2250
2136
0410
0305